About This Place
Newport is a town in Penobscot County, Maine, United States. The population was 3,017 at the 2000 census. Newport is situated on Lake Sebasticook.
The town was settled about 1808 as East Pond Plantation, then incorporated on June 14, 1814 as Newport. Agriculture was a principal early occupation, and industries included several sawmills, a gristmill, a foundry, cabinet shop, and a number of harness and blacksmith shops. By 1859, when the population was 1,120, Newport was an important producer of carriages "...which, for durability and finish, [were] not excelled by any in the state." The Maine Central Railroad connected to Newport and made it the terminus for its Dexter & Newport Railway, which opened in 1868. By 1880, the population reached 1,451, and industries included a marble, granite and slate works, and a maker of boots and shoes. In 1891, the woolen mill was built, and the Aroostook Condensed Milk Company founded. The latter became the Maine Condensed Milk Company in 1894, then Borden's Condensed Milk Company in 1902.
In 1901, a large fire destroyed the Maine Central Railroad freight depot and two mills, and damaged 20 houses. In 1990, two boys, aged 8 and 9, started a fire which burned half of Newport's historic downtown (three buildings more than a century old).